PM Modi presents special gift to Myanmar State Counsellor Suu Kyi

A Rohingya refugee girl looks next to newly arrived refugees who fled to Bangladesh from Myanmar in Ukhiya

A Rohingya refugee girl looks next to newly arrived refugees who fled to Bangladesh from Myanmar in Ukhiya

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said India shares Myanmar's concern about "extremist violence" in its Rakhine state where security forces have been engaged in a bloody battle against Rohingya insurgents, forcing thousands of people to flee neighbouring Bangladesh and India.

Modi announced free visas for Myanmar nationals keen to visit India, standing next to Suu Kyi - the country's State Counsellor and de-facto leader - in Nay Pyi Taw, at a time his administration has declared plans to deport 40,000 illegal Rohingya refugees now in India.

Mr Modi's first bilateral visit here comes at a time when the Myanmarese government led by Nobel laureate Suu Kyi is facing worldwide pressure over the 1,25,000 Rohingya Muslims that have poured into Bangladesh after Myanmar's military launched a crackdown in the Rakhine state.

■ India and Myanmar today signed 11 agreements in a range of sectors, including one on maritime security cooperation, to further strengthen their multifaceted partnership.

"When it comes to finding a solution to a special issue, we hope that all stakeholders can work together towards finding a peaceful solution which while respecting the unity and territorial integrity of Myanmar", he said.

Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Modi received a ceremonial reception at the Presidential Palace in Nay Pyi Taw, as he arrived on a two-day visit to Myanmar. India estimates almost 40,000 Rohingya Muslims have already made India their home over the last five years and has announced plans to deport the illegal immigrants back to Myanmar. "'Act East" and "Neighbourhood First' Policy". India shares a 1,600-km-long land border with Myamnar.

Prime Minister Modi also announced gratis visas for people of Myanmar and promised to release the 40 Myanmarese citizens, lodged in Indian jails.

Myanmar and India have agreed to cooperate in countering terrorism, effectively implement existing projects and support each other at regional and worldwide forums.

India too has invested heavily in connectivity projects through Myanmar - such as the Kaladan multi-modal project that involves developing a port, an inland waterways terminal and a road.

Soon after his arrival here, he called on Myanmar President U Htin Kyaw at whose invitation he has come.

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